Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Clone Wars

Part of the reason I took the new postdoc position was because I knew my general cloning skills and biochemistry were a weak point. I think Achilles heel wouldn't be an exaggeration of late!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Name the Biologist - week 11

This week I'm putting up a mug shot that anyone who tackled higher biology at school will have no doubt encountered. Anyone who's done an "A level" or a biology degree will have had to memorise something because of this guy!

As for last week's mystery biologist, not even "anonymous" got it which means it was either difficult or he/she couldn't be bothered this week. It was Edwin Summer - inventor of the Southern blot and inspiration of its compass based spin-offs.


A colleague of mine discovered one of the freezer doors in the lab was open on Saturday and everything had defrosted. It's the freezer right next to me so I instantly felt guilty because it's right next to me and I use it a lot. It is however a communal freezer and I left quite early on Friday so live in the hope it wasn't me. That said, I was in work today, determined to be extra vigilant of the freezer not being shut properly, partly so I could tell if I was the culprit or not. So I opened the freezer and was surprised when the door came off its hinges.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Name the Biologist - week 10

Sticking with a theme at the moment, here is this week's mystery biologist.

Update: This one seems to be causing problems/lack of interest, maybe I should try and point you all in the right direction?

As for last week, the answer is behind my newly discovered spoiler text (do i have to explain how it works?). Carey Mulligan Kary Mullis the developer of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) an absoultely essentially, if sometimes black art, for pretty much every biologist. Kary definitely seems to be a character if his views on AIDS, LSD and climtate change are any indication and I've been informed that his autobiography is a very entertaining read. Probably worth checking out.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Name the biologist - week 9

For people who've heard my frustrations at work (which I know I promised to update on the blog but haven't got round to yet) may be able to make a guess as to who this weeks mystery biologist is.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Great Gummi Bear Experiment

What follows is the hard work of some co-workers from my old institute. 

Gummi bears expand when soaked in water

Abstract: Food items that get caught in the throat are a common cause of concern and irritation. It can often lead to worries of esophageal cancer or cause restriction of breathing. "Sticky" foods can stick to the back or roof of the mouth and Gummi bears are particularly hazardous. Cases of "gummed up throats" (GUT) usually occur in young children or adolescents and have been known, in extreme cases, to become stuck in a person's throat for 2 weeks (citation needed). Here we investigate and validate the claim that Gummi bears are made more dangerous due to their ability to expand when soaked in water. This research also shows that while gummi bears expand over 48hrs their structural integrity causes them to shrink after this point - offering hope to sufferers of GUT.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Alternative Medicine Fail - Pills made from baby remains

I just read this link. I emphasise link as I don't read the Daily Mail - unless it's for a better understanding of science scare mongering. First of all, I can only hope that it is Daily Mail scare mongering and not 100% accurate as it's pretty shocking and disgusting that such a practice is going on.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Name the Biologist - Week 8

This week is a somewhat sad entry in the sense it shows not everything works out in science. The irony being this guy makes up for at least 90% of all biologist's careers so it's good to hear their stories too. I imagine some people wont even need the picture after that introduction but here goes;

As for the identity of the previous name the biologist...

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Science Songs: RIP Adam Yauch

I was wanting to post this one a while back but due to EMI policing their copyright it's impossible to get the song off the net (well, without very intensive searching). Sadly Adam Yauch, of the Beastie boys passed away to cancer yesterday. Everyone should like at least one Beastie Boys track as they had a huge range. But they had a song called "the sounds of science (and an entire anthology bearing the name) which fits this feature perfectly. I urge you to track it down on Spotify or something, Until then we'll have to make do with the lyrics.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Name the Biologist - week 7

This is one that a lot of Edinburgh PhD students should know.

As for last week's scientist.....